Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Author, author - what's your perspective?

There is no luck in literary reputation. They who make up the final verdict upon every book are not the partial and noisy readers of the hour when it appears; but a court as of angels, a public not to be bribed, not to be entreated, and not to be overawed, decides upon every man's title to fame.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
(American essayist and poet, 1803-1882)

We each put our own interpretations on what we read, so to hear from the authors themselves can sometimes be an enlightening experience, depending on whether or not your "translation" followed the authors' intent. You might read a book before you've seen or heard anything of the author, yet get a whole new perspective when you hear the author talk about the work. That is one of the joys of reading and writing, though - there is generally no right or wrong!

I had no joy finding any of my preferred authors on the several sites I tried (I'm not sure what that says about my reading habits?) so I browsed and chose some I was familiar with. Most are on my "to read" list at this point, so it was good to hear the authors talk and know that yes, I really do want to catch up with their writing. It does seem easier to find talks or interviews with fiction writers, but there were 2 sites that I was drawn to more than others. Both had nice layouts, the information was easy to follow, and having the authors listed down the left hand side of Powell's Books made browsing much easier than many others. The podcasts from the Free Library of Philadelphia were easy to access and I may even download some to my MP3 player and listen to them at my leisure. There are several here from authors I have been intending to read, so this will keep them on my radar! I will check back with Authors on tour live in a couple of months to see if Jon Katz, who has a new book of fiction coming out, after some years of writing non-fiction, and who will be touring to promote it, features at all. Through following his blog, and reading his numerous books, I'm now very interested in hearing him speak. I'm sure our patrons too would be interested in knowing about some of these sites, so any opportunity we have to inform them of such things can surely only add to their enjoyment and enrichment, too.

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